Monday, May 11, 2009

Delayed reaction

I didn't really cry at John's graduation, although like I said, I got a little teary when they flipped their tassels and played the Kinks to walk out. There wasn't anything to be sad about during the rest of our activities on graduation day: going to the art museum and out for dinner; that was all purely fun.

Sunday morning I tested myself - I walked over and got coffee at the Starbucks closest to MIAD, thus recreating the walk I took to new students and parents orientation, the Sunday morning 4 years ago when I dropped John off at school for his first semester, even going past the crappy 2-star hotel that was all I could get to stay at that visit. No tears. Driving to John's girlfriend's apartment a little later to cook waffles and bacon for mother's day, I went past his dorm, and the lakefront where we'd walked together, and one of his old apartments - not a twinge. I didn't cry on the drive back to Madison on a Sunday afternoon that I'd done so many times before, after visiting while John was in school. I even said to John as he was seeing me off, "all day if start feeling sad, I keep reminding myself it's not like I'm not going to see you real soon"; he replied, "it's life, mom."

I tried another test Sunday night when I was posting the pictures, and played This Time Tomorrow all the way through - but again I was OK.

But this morning, somehow, the song was stuck in my head, and I cried at the kitchen sink when I was washing the coffee pot.

Not sure why - I'm happy for and proud of John. It might be partly that I couldn't really share the experience with Mark - the children of divorce, Un-blended family problem - but while trying to recount some of the highlights of graduation dinner to Mark and Kaylah last night over our grocery store sushi supper (that's really another story!) I didn't feel grief stricken, only ineloquent.

Maybe it's just what my brother was writing about a few weeks ago, in a post titled Funover, everything is better when you are looking forward to it; you start mourning its loss when you are looking back after it has happened.

Tuesday morning postscript - I think I'm just afraid that everything fun that could happen to me is over - disregarding the fact that I still have another kid to graduate from college, and BOTH of them might go to grad school. Of, course it's also possible that it IS the kids' graduating college that's making me feel so over - it's all about them now. But it's actually been that way since they were born. So I've been holding up examples to myself, of people who made changes later in life - my dad because the director of a medical school program at age 65; my mom did not even begin her professional career in libraries until she was 46, and worked till she was 75. Hell, Arlen Spector's switched to the Democrats so he can run for the Senate again at age 79.

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